NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Mets will welcome David Wright back to the lineup on Friday while trade winds continue to swirl around outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Wright is scheduled to start for the first time in over two months when New York opens a 10-game road trip against the Florida Marlins.
“He said he feels great,” manager Terry Collins said on Thursday. “He doesn’t feel he needs another 10 at-bats. He said he’s seeing the ball good, he’s healthy, and he’s just ready to go.”
New York (49-49) has dealt with various injuries to key personnel, including Wright, Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay.
“His presence will be felt,” Collins said. “He’ll be a big lift. I think you’ll see our team respond to it.”
Reyes and Beltran returned to the lineup this week, and the Mets won the first two games before failing to complete a sweep of St. Louis with a 6-2 loss Thursday. They combined for seven hits in the series, as Reyes showed he was fully healthy after a hamstring injury while Beltran has recovered from the flu.
Wright is now expected back from a stress fracture in his lower back that has sidelined him since May 15. He was 10 for 21 in a six-game rehabilitation stint with Class-A St. Lucie.
“It’s good that he’s healthy,” said Reyes. “He has no pain and we need him for the next two months.”
Wright was hitting .226 with six homers and 18 RBIs before getting hurt, but he has a .463 average with five homers and 11 RBIs in his last 13 meetings with the Marlins (47-52).
Bay, batting .232 with six homers and 29 RBIs, is also expected back from a tight hamstring that sidelined him Thursday.
While the Mets are getting healthy, Beltran may not be with them at the conclusion of this road trip in Washington on July 31. He has been rumored to move in a deal prior to the non-waiver trade deadline that day.
“Right now, he’s hitting third (Friday) in Miami,” Collins said regarding Beltran.
Mike Pelfrey (5-9, 4.67 ERA) gets the ball looking to beat the Marlins for the first time since his major league debut on July 8, 2006. The right-hander is 0-7 with a 5.35 ERA in 13 starts since, including 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA in seven at Miami.
He was charged with a 6-2 defeat in his most recent start there on opening day, giving up five runs with four walks in 4 1-3 innings.
Pelfrey has lost back-to-back starts while allowing six runs in 11 innings and getting no runs of support.
New York has dropped three of five to the Marlins this season, falling 4-1 in a makeup game Monday while playing without Reyes, Beltran and Wright.
“They’re going to be improved coming in here,” manager Jack McKeon told the team’s official website. “They’ve got Reyes and Beltran back, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re much better. It all depends on what happens out on that mound.”
Florida hasn’t won since Monday, getting outscored 23-6 while being swept by in a three-game series with San Diego after Thursday’s 5-3 defeat.
McKeon turns to Chris Volstad (5-8, 5.59), who is 1-1 with a 9.69 ERA in his last three starts.
The right-hander turned in his shortest outing of the season in Sunday’s 7-5 win at Chicago, getting pulled after three innings after allowing four runs and six hits.
Volstad is 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in his past three starts versus the Mets, but hasn’t faced them since June 30, 2010.
Omar Infante is a .350 career hitter against the Mets and is 11 for 20 versus Pelfrey.
How will Wright fare in his return? Make your prediction in the comments below…
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